Keep Your Money, Honey? (Internet Marketing Tools 2011 Recap)

Keep Your Money, Honey? (Internet Marketing Tools 2011 Recap)

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internet marketing products 2011According to a quick search with Google Keywords Tool, the words “review” and “reviews” are some of the most searched words online.

No surprise there, right?

Naturally, we want to make sure we have at least some idea whether what we are looking to buy is worth our buck before we cough it up.

Last year, I wrote a post about some of the not-so-great internet marketing products I tried in the previous year.

Turned out to be a hit.

This year, I decided to ask for input from my email subscribers (join them here) as to which internet marketing tools were hot and which ones were not in 2011.

One head is good, but a few thousand heads are much better.

Here’s the feedback I got.

Note: please keep in mind that I haven’t personally tested some of the tools below and these are solely opinions of Traffic Generation Cafe readers.

However, the tools that I do know and like are listed with my affiliate link – thanks for your support!

Internet Marketing Tools – NOT so Hot

1. Dripable.com

by MYSEOCommunity

This is probably the absolute worst product I’ve ever tried.

Of course I am always skeptical when it comes to services like this, which is why I tend to proceed with caution. (meaning I don’t use any important websites when testing)

What this service does is spams comments to the same network of blogs over and over. Some of the blog comments are like 5000 mega-mega spammy comments!

 

 2. Synnd.com

by MYSEOCommunity

I had high hopes for this one and it does aim to aid in some things that all Internet marketers need.

The system basically automates task such as:

  • bookmarking URL for blog posts
  • Getting Facebook Likes
  • Getting blog comments
  • Article syndication
  • Social News site votes i.e. Digg.com
  • Retweets

Here is how it works.

You install their software called a “remote automater”  and it automatically creates accounts at bookmarking sites, social news sites, twitter etc etc.

Once this is done, the remote automater performs tasks in the background for other members.

So basically they are using your IP to perform tasks like bookmarking, retweets etc. – this way it’s supposed to make things look natural with everything coming from random IPs.

In return you are given a certain number of credits per day.

At first, it sounds like a fair trade, but the free version is way too limited to be useful, so I signed up for their $97 a month plan and quickly ran out of credits and so upgraded to their $147 a month plan and then ran out of credits again and had to buy more credits.

So in other words, if it were to be useful, you are going to definitely be spending some money each month.

The other main problem all of the social accounts are all clearly puppet accounts.

Example: when you take a look at the retweets or diggs, most of the accounts don’t have avatars and, upon visual inspection by any intelligent human being, it’s easy to see that the retweets, votes, etc etc are all spammy puppet accounts.

In short it’s just too automated. Not a good thing.

3. LinkDip.com

by David Wakeman

I started using a free service called “linkdip” a couple of weeks ago.

The concept is to hook up with other linkdip users and retweet, Google+, like, dipp or linkedin other people’s posts to get your information broadcasted out to more people.

The idea sounded good and so I decided to give it a try with an account I was just kind of playing with.

Over the last 2 weeks that account got suspended twice.

The first time, I was able to get Twitter to reinstate it.  This time, Twitter is not responding.

I have decided to just let that account die.

The funny thing is that the tweets that I sent out were being sent on another account and that account is still active.

The suspension came when I retweeted through linkdip.

I can’t say for sure that it was linkdip, but that is the only difference between my 2 accounts.  I would say stay away.

4. Conductor.com & BrightEdge.com

by Tanya McTavish

I think bashing tools and giving providers a hard time is evil.

So I will list some tools and services that we consider the least small-medium business friendly: Conductor and Bright Edge.

Neither of these two providers will even bother to send you a product demo, if you are a small business guy.

Best to ignore the two completely as all requests for partnership will deem fruitless, unless you indicate a million dollar budget, that is.

5. SEOMoz & Majestic SEO

by Tanya McTavish

Another products to scrutinize from the cost-vs-benefit standpoint is SEOMoz.

I know I know, it is a sin to speak against Rand-the-SEO superman, but our honest and humble opinion is this:

1. He is doing a terrific marketing job (honestly wish we were that good – or better said – had this kind of venture money to play with)

2. in terms of features and functionality, his products are not worth as much as he asks for them – but again, great marketing job.

Another great, great product, yet not cost-effective is Majestic SEO – fantastic product, lots of backlinks, at an abominable price.

Probably the best enterprise backlink solution ever made, but so very pricey.

Note from Ana: I just did a review of Majestic SEO explaining how you can make the most of it for free.

6. Fast Cash Commissions

by Sye Rodriguez

I personally tried Fast Cash Commissions and recommend staying away from it.

It has some value for a brand new person, but the creators have no problem with exaggerating things.

This is the biggest problem I had with them.

They also try to sell you something new everyday and call it training.

7. Google in 60 Seconds

by Michael Johansen

The system does work effectively to the extent that you really can get to the front page of Google in about 60 seconds.

The problem is that you drop off again in an other 60 seconds.

Sure, you can just repeat 24 times a day, and you will stay on the page.

But Google’s algorithms are not that stupid, that they can not easily find you, and poof, – you’re gone forever!

8. Pippity

by Ana

This is one of the tools that I personally tried and (still) need to request a refund for.

Pippity is a pop-up plugin that looked really good on “paper”.

What sold me on it was the fact that one of the settings allowed me to set it to pop up AFTER the reader finished reading a post; perfect timing in other words.

Yes, it did pop up like it was supposed to.

The problem was that many of my readers weren’t able to exit it at all. The “X” was too high up and hiding under the browser window and there was no other way to get rid of it.

Easy fix, IF their customer service ever bother to respond to me.

Additionally, you can’t really customized their templates to match your site that well and it looks a bit out of place.

9. SocialAdr.com

by Ana

SocialAdr is a paid social bookmarking service that is supposed to get your post distributed to various social media networks via “thousands of different real human social media accounts.”

I submitted one post to them to see how well it works.

In about 2 weeks I gave it, my post was bookmarked at the rate of about once in 2-3 days.

Really?

Thumbs down from me.

10. Digi Auto Links

by John Wagner

I tried it for about a month and my site was shutdown 3 times for too much load on the site.

I installed cache, minified, and optimized and still was suspended.

I uninstalled the plugin and complained to the authors help line. I was told it was my hosts fault and that I should change hosts.

After uninstalling the plugin I have not had any problems.

Note from Ana: I actually emailed my subscribers’ list (join it here to receive my exclusive updates) about staying clear of this plugin.

All it does is spams other blogs with fake pingbacks leading back to your blog.

Result? You might get a few backlinks here and there, but more likely will be quickly labeled as a spammer.

Also, make sure you defend your blog from these fake pingbacks – never ever approve them.

If you have CommentLuv Premium installed, go under GASP settings and enabled blocking Digi Auto Links – this is your best defense.

Internet Marketing Tools – Thumbs Up

1. SEMRush.com

by Tanya McTavish

On behalf of Link-Assistant.Com, we nominate SEMRush as a great IM solution for small and medium online ventures.

Extensive free version, reasonably priced paid versions with awesome customer support.

We truly love those guys.

Note from Ana: and so do I – take a look at what I have to say about SEMRush.

2. SEO PowerSuite

by Lonny Brooks

I use SEO PowerSuite on my indies sites to not only help them, but to also spy on my competition.

3. Internet Business Mastery Coaching Lab 101

by Ryan Oakley

Jay and Sterling are straight shooters and have created an awesome coaching program that revolves around their tried and true IBM Academy training.

In less than 2 months, I was able to create a wonderful authority, passion-based internet business and make my first affiliate sales.

My own ebook and products are in the works.

I just follow the IBM steps and ask Jay and Sterling for help and it’s working like a charm.

They also have an awesome blog that I highly recommend you check out.

4. Free Traffic System

by MYSEOCommunity

Version 1 was kind of a “spin and syndicate to a bunch of low quality blogs” model, which doesn’t work well these days.

But V2 allows you to submit a “good quality” article to a blog with some authority and each post does have to be approved by the blog owner.

Also this is not a link farm. All the blogs are owned by individuals like you and me. Not one owner in other words.

The links are contextual, not byline links.

Also you can choose the blog according to traffic and page rank.

I use them for publishing original content on blogs to get backlinks.

Sometimes I submit by hand snd sometimes I utilize their PR posts service where basically I tell them the pagerank I want along with keywords and anchor text and they write the content and submit etc.

So that’s kind of like a turn key solution that doesn’t take much time and it’s fairly reasonably priced too.

5. WordPress SEO by Yoast

by Shelley Zurek

Stable release of WP SEO by Yoast – it is really fantastic for the average Joe…FANTASTIC!

It is very very simple, matter-of-fact and clear for someone who CAN’T spend all their time on SEO.

6. Rafflecopter

by Shelley Zurek

I absolutely must mention Rafflecopter.

Rafflecopter is the ONE thing that has made every blogger who runs ANY kind of contest better this year.

Greg from Rafflecopter knows how to provide the BEST service  and keep it simple.

7. BuildMyRank

by Bethany

I will say one that I recently started with and is well worth it is BuildMyRank.

I’ve seen a boost in my rankings for hard-to-rank keywords and I’ve just been kinda blown away, actually.

I’d be curious to see if you tested it, what it does for you.

Note from Ana: yes, BuildMyRank is a reputable blog network that allows you to publish unique article with a link per 150 words to their diverse and good quality blog network.

If you’d like to check it out, I appreciate you going through my affiliate link.

8. SENuke

by Joshua Zamora

I just started using Senuke and after getting through the learning curve, I found it automates A LOT of the things I did manually and I think using its “drip” feature is important to make your campaigns look natural.

Note from Ana: I’ve never personally used SENuke, but from what I know of it, I think it’s better used for second-tier links (links that don’t directly connect with your money site).

Also, if you want to give it a shot, I wouldn’t spend the money; I’d hire someone on Fiverr to use their software to do a link blast.

9. CurationSoft & CommentLuv Premium

by James Pruitt

Have to say for 2011, CurationSoft has been awesome for generating more content and doing quick research to find relevant news within my niches faster than ever before.

Since they added the RSS feed and import (for Google Reader fans, makes moving your entire list of blogs to follow a breeze), I can even curate content from the blogs I regularly guest post on and read daily faster than ever before.

Also, for comments and engagement, CommentLuv Premium has really knocked it out of the park.

10. Four Great Tools

by Micah Chipcase

Tweetadder – love love love it.
Micro niche finder – love it.
CommentLuv Premium – amazing.
Article marketing robot – also great.

11. Niche Spider

by Jason Doherty

I gave Niche Spider a try and it was great!

Really speeds up keyword research and gives great ideas that I wouldn’t have normally thought of.

Downside is it has a monthly fee and in the end I let it go due to building out current sites and not using it as much.

I intend to re-subscribe once my business is big enough to absorb the cost :)

12. Market Samurai

by Scott Lewis

Market Samurai is amazing!

Note from Ana: there you have it – short and sweet.

Even with all the recent changes, Market Samurai is still my primary SEO tool I use almost on a daily basis.

Oh, yes, Scott also said:

Your blog is one of the best!

Thanks, Scott!

13. Thesis Theme

by Ian Belanger (suggestion from comments)

Great list! I definitely see some products that I would like to try.

In my opinion though, you missed one of the best tools on the web, Thesis Theme.

I know it’s not really a tool, but if you are looking for a higher alexa rank and better SEO, then Thesis cannot be beat.

Any blog that I have Thesis on, always out ranks blogs without it. And with a little work, your rankings will keep moving in the right direction.

I don’t just use thesis for blogs either, any website can benefit from it’s SEO power.

Note from Ana: Ian is right – Thesis rocks.

Check out my full Thesis review here.

Marketing Takeaway

I know I see a couple of tools on that list that I wouldn’t mind taking for a spin.

What about you?

internet marketing products traffic generation cafe

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

85 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Ana, I love way you build community, share information and give others a voice. I don’t know if you’ve read “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace, but I think you’d enjoy it very much.

    Misti Burmeister

  2. Ana, I enjoy SEMrush’s free services, and have become an Alexa freak. Of course ComLuv is now a way of life. The candor of your guest authors is refreshing. When I hear mwa mwa mwa about everything, I feel my tenuous grip on reality slipping away.

  3. Hello Ana,
    it is good to see not only all the good tools but also the bad ones. Most people generally present just the good ones.
    I don’t know many of these tools. I have to check out the articles and reviews you have already done for some of theme and also have a look on the tool pages.
    I just hope that not all of these tools are expensive.
    And just a question about Thesis: I thought that using WordPress was just good to achieve good ranking on Google. Now I assume that I have also choose an good theme such as Thesis. Everybody speaks about this theme. i haven’t even check its price. I am just wondering, if I go with a free one, will it be a disaster ot that is OK anymway?
    Thank you for this article!

    • Ana Hoffman

      My main problems with free themes, Lenia:

      1. Many of them are not well-coded and produce a lot of errors.
      2. You can customize them only that much.
      3. Most of them are not set up for SEO.

      • Hi Ana,
        I see your point here. I have already assumed the problem with customization.
        As far as SEO concerns, are you talking about the free theme’s code? Do you mean that this code is not properly done in order to optimize the website?
        Because I found the plugin All in one SEO that could do the job for the SEO in each page of the website but I am not sure we are talking about the same thing.
        Thanks a lot for your help, once again :)

  4. I tried using WordPress Seo but really I haven’t felt that comfortable with it. While I like a lot All in one Seo I’m testing on another blog Seo Ultimate which seems a better alternative to both. What I really hate about all those seo plugins is that anytime you change all optimizations go away, their import function usually doesn’t import keywords and you have to manually write them again, or let things as they are.

    I’ll have a look at all those tools as usual but I guess I’ve just made a big, big error. I went to check PingFarm and there is another page there called Indexkings which says that they submit urls to statistic sites for backlinks. The problem is that , if I’ve understood correctly, they submit the same link to different pages on the same domain, like Topsy, and this probably do qualify a site as a spamming site. It might be I’ve checked wrongly the complex url box and not really understood how it works but I guess I’m not so distant from truth.

    Do you have any idea about this Ana? Because if I’m right I’ve just put a big red dot on all my sites at once. The only time I don’t test it first. Oh well, it seemed a good idea. I’ll se what happens. :(

    • Ana Hoffman

      I actually recently installed SEO Ultimate on my blog and love it so far. I agree, it’s a whole lot better than any other SEO plugin out there.

      I suppose all you can do is wait and see if Google has a problem with any of those recent links of yours, Andrea.

  5. Yet another great post, Ana.

    Nice to see a list(Okay two lists) of both good and bad programs, rather than just seeing a load of sales hype.
    I will agree that some of the SEO programs are pretty pricey, if we wish to go beyond the limited free versions of the applications.

    I have the free versions of Link assistants Power-suite tools, SEO Book, Aherefs, search status, SEMrush, Traffic travis, etc, etc.
    Of those, I think SEMrush and Powersuite would have the most potential in a paid tool(Though they are quite pricey)

    I usually use My Market Samurai(Paid version) in partnership with the Google adwords tool as this seems to work quite well.

    I laughed with your mention of the terms “review” and ” review site’ being amongst the top search queries.
    I have gone through squillions of review type sites, whereby the various Website hosting packages are measured up.
    Will probably go for either Blue host or Host-gator).
    What made it quite difficult is that many review sites are biased towards one particular product or program.

    Again many thanks for the heads up on those(Not too crash hot) tools.
    There are so many programs out there(covering many areas of running websites and blogs) it becomes quite difficult at times to know whether they are worth the money and the effort.
    This post of your will in the end, save me a lot of time and money.

    Daniel

  6. Hello Ana,

    Checking out some of your other posts now. :)

    Apart from thesis, Market Samurai, SEnuke & SEO Powersuite, a lot of these tools are new to me. So will go through your affiliate links to see if they work for me.

    Thank you for the recommendations.

  7. Hi Ana,

    Well done list as I expected. Have not tried most of the “thumbs down”
    products, however I did fall for the Digi Auto Links sales page. You saved
    me because I read your post just before I was going to load it. Thanks for
    the timing.

    I too love Tweetadder and use it all the time. Do not understand why it is
    such a tough affiliate sale. Oh well.

    PS… You will like California, I am a native San Franciscan and can attest.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Saved by the bell!

      Isn’t that a slick sales page? Hard to know you’ll be spamming other websites by using that plugin…

      I do alright with Tweetadder, actually.

      SF sounds great. We used to live in Sacramento and visited quite a bit; look forward to getting back into the hustle and bustle.

  8. Beth Parker

    I agree with you on Dripable. I tried it on one site as a test, and the next day my traffic dropped significantly. My traffic for the next month was just 31% of the previous month’s traffic and it still hasn’t completely recovered now, four months later. There’s always a chance that this could be a coincidence, but why risk it? I’m glad I only tried it on one site.

  9. Hi Ana
    Thank you for the list. It is always nice to get products recommended from someone you trust and know are recommending it for the right reasons. You are one of those people that I trust and listen to :)

  10. Hi I have tried many of these tools my self and most all left me in trouble or still wanting. I find the best way to learn is with the free stuff Google supplies. I am not going to bash any tools or products and I would feel quit justified in doing so.
    The up shot is if you do not know how to see if you can rank on page one Google with the tools Google provides you will not get there with anything you buy. I have found a few plugins that help form trusted people but mostly people who are selling stuff are doing it because they marketing is not paying them enough. That and it is so easy to screw others out of there cash if you are great at sales copy.One hint now is anything giving you lots of backlinks fast is leaving a big footprint for Google to deindex. One more way of checking these so called experts is to go to there posts and website and see how high they are ranking. I have had an seo expert “self proclaimed” try and sell me seo on my page rank three website from his page rank- website. I checked the websites he used for samples and best ranked site he had promoted to the top of page one was there because no one else wanted it.It only had a page rank of 1 so his on page was not good and he was not doing his job at all just using local merchants websites to get proper domains for there websites and that in most cases works but does not mean he knows anything about seo. So I showed him my page rank site and offered to sell him a system to get there. He did not take me up on it but removed me from his email list fast . It is getting the same with writers now they have a famous blog because of great writing and sell seo products because it pays well but it by no means is proof that the stuff works. They all have a few good ideas and great writing skills to keep folks interested but it does not make them any better marketers than anyone else. it is also not proof the products will be of any help.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I can’t help but agree, Bruce.

      Even if I think very hard, there are very few tools that I can’t do without.

      Most of the times, we buy into different products to save ourselves some time and pain, but can we do the job without them? Most likely.

      I do know what you are talking about though.

      I have so many commentators who run SEO sites and then come to me to ask the simplest SEO questions saying that “they are still learning it”.

      WHAT?

      Unfortunately, they find people who know even less than they do to take advantage of.

  11. Ana,

    Great post here. But i’d have to disagree with your views on SEOmoz. I suppose you don’t find it very useful since you are NOT in the SEO Business. But for those of us who are in the business, SEOmoz is a God sent tool.

    It’s not just the tools you are paying for. There are a lot of other perks for SEOmoz users as well. One of the perk is the awesome PRO only webinars they host which has a wealth of information. You’d need to pay top dollars for this kind of information alone.

    Coming to tools they offer, the Open Site Explorer is a gem. It’s an absolutely wonderful tool to do a link profile of a site and immediately see the issues associated with it.

    You’d also have tools like keyword difficulty analyzer which can report on the top 10 SERP’s for a variety of sites. The kind of information it generates for competition analysis probably will take us manually many days to complete.

    Now another nifty tool is their Rank tracker. FOr the basic account, you can automatically track upto 300 keywords. Now that’s something you’d have to pay a lot if you were to take up that service from other providers.

    There is also a social media monitoring tool, on page SEO analysis tool (The one similar to scribe SEO).

    To say that a tool is not good because you don’t find use for it, is not fair. Just ask anyone from the SEO industry and they’ll tell why SEOmoz is an absolute bargain and a great tool (if they can afford it).

    • Ana Hoffman

      Wait a minute, Adarsh – you need to go back to the post and actually read it.

      1. I didn’t write that comment; I’ve never personally used SEOMoz.
      2. No one said it wasn’t a good tool.

      The point was that the price is not very friendly.

      Plus, this is not an SEO blog. I write for online business owners who don’t have all day or unlimited funds to spend on their SEO and for that reason, I do support what Tanya said.

      • Adarsh Thampy

        I know Ana. But one question.

        Does it seem surprising that someone from Link-assistant (who sells a similar product to what SEOmoz has, but limited in features) thinks SEOmoz or Majestic SEO is NOT worth the price?

        I don’t really see that as a very honest review.

        What you said about small business “might” be true. But I know several small business owners save tons of money on SEO buy using SEOmoz tools. (Granted you need to spend time learning it yourself in this case). But on the brighter side you are in complete control of your site SEO and wont be charged 4 or 5 figure for SEO.

        Another point is, we can ask private questions to the staff members. It’s almost like a SEO consultation worth several hundreds of dollars.

        But I understand your viewpoint. Most small business owners do not want or have the funds to spend for SEO tools like SEOmoz or Majestic SEO.

        My only “problem” is when someone thinks that their competitor is not worth the price they charge. (However, hundreds upon thousands don’t think the same way :) )

  12. Thanks for the post. Must really credit you for doing this, for i don’t think anybody will have the courage to write this list for fear of being offensive. It is always good to say nice things about others rather than “you sucks”.

    I just take a peep at the contest you mentioned that is running on myseocommunity. I think it is a downright contest gunning after SEO for their own site. It is theme as “mad scientist blogger” but ” how to win” criteria reads”Write a promotional post about the contest to help spread the word in the blogosphere.
    Add Sponsors’ links to your promotional post. The sponsors are the ones making the cash prizes possible, so let’s show them some love!”

    No wonder two of their tools make it to the not-so-great-pdt list. If it is a mad scientist blogger shouldn’t it surround that?

    However, i will give my thumbs up to buildmyrank. it is good.

    Market samurai used to be awesome, but recently they have so many changes that makes it awesome no more.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Not quite sure what your complaint is about MySEOCommunity contest, Zac, but you are welcome on all the other points.

  13. Great list of useful tool! I’ve been seeing lots of people who are encouraging other to use some of these tools like curation and commentluv premium for example. These are some effective tools that many bloggers already proven its worth so others will surely love these items too.

      • Absolutely Ana:)

        I liked the most this part:

        “The system does work effectively to the extent that you really can get to the front page of Google in about 60 seconds.”

        I mean, people are still buying this? On front page of Google in 60 seconds? This is plain stupid, not even a beginner would fall for that

  14. I have been reading blogs all day, it seems that Ana was a commenter on at least half of them. Thought I would look her up-boy am I glad I did!

  15. I absolutely love Yoast’s SEO tool.

    I think that tool initially explained how search engines work and what it takes to rank well on Google.

    Comment Luv is great too!

  16. Now, that’s what I wanted to read: DOs and DON’Ts regarding tools, plugins and whatever a blogger needs. Thanks for being honest and non-commercial!

  17. sharon akinoluwa

    Ana,
    thanks for this wonderful list, and kudos to everyone that contributed to make the list comprehensive. This list would go along way to help put money on the right products….. where you’re sure of a good return for your investments.

  18. Thanks for providing the list of IM products and the reviews by others documenting which products are worth investing in and the ones to stay away from! I have much work to do on my niche focused blogs to get more traffic to them. I know that content is king but it seems that a site needs 100s and 100s of backlinks from other sites to move up the Goggle page listing. I will look into trying some of the products that seem to get a thumbs up from your followers.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Yes, Google still heavily relies on backlinks, but it also depends on your niche, Larry.

      I can’t imagine there’s that much competition in the squirrel feeding niche…

      And you are welcome!

  19. Hi Ana,

    This is a great list indeed. It’s very important to know about both what’s worth your money and what worth to leave alone.

    I know some of the products that you mentioned here, the good ones actually, and I am happy with them as well. Fortunately, I knew none of the bad ones and will of course avoid them.

    By nature I tend to hate automated stuff and tend to stay away from them as much as I can. I can’t remember of one good experience when I trying them.

    Thanks,
    Sylviane

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad to hear you stayed on the “good side” of the mentioned products, Sylviane.

      Of course, now you also have an idea of which ones to stay away from in the future.

      Thanks for coming by!

  20. John F. Wagner

    Ana, you are correct with Digi Auto Links. I tried it for about a month and my site was shutdown 3 times for too much load on the site. I installed cache, minified, and optimized and still was suspended.

    I uninstalled the plugin and complained to the authors help line. I was told it was my hosts fault and that I should change hosts. After uninstalling the plugin I have not had any problems.

    I agree with your advice and say stay clear of this plugin.
    John Wagner

    • Ana Hoffman

      Their sales page is so slick and legit, John, that most bloggers have no idea what they are getting themselves into when buying the plugin.

      Glad you got out of it!

  21. Once again, a great article. I always enjoy your posts and look forward to the next. These are all really great tools, and it is great that you put them all in one place. You rock Girl!

  22. I would like to reach out to Lonny of Heartandsoul Wiki and sincerely thank him for recommending SEO PowerSuite. Thanks, Lonny, you truly made my day :)

    Also, this is probably the best collaborative review of IM tools I have read in a while. (Disclaimer: given the number of opinions listed under my name in the above post, I am 100% biased when saying this.)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’d love for more people to know about SEO Powersuite, Tanya, and glad Lonny mentioned it – otherwise, I would’ve had to!

  23. Ana,

    Love the list here. Knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing what is worth a shot.
    As for the ones that work… I have no disagreements with the ones i have tried.

    Commentluv and MS specifically are tried and true helpful “no-brainers” and BMR has simply blown me away with how effective it can be.

  24. Re. SEOMoz:

    “I know I know, it is a sin to speak against Rand-the-SEO superman” <– that made me laugh :)

    "He is doing a terrific MARKETING job" <– absolutely agree (emphasis added).

    "His products are not worth as much as he asks for them" <– correct.

    Thanks for telling it like it is.

  25. Hey Ana,

    Great list! I definitely see some products that I would like to try. In my opinion though, you missed one of the best tools on the web, Thesis Theme. I know it’s not really a tool, but if you are looking for a higher alexa rank and better SEO, then Thesis cannot be beat.

    Any blog that I have Thesis on, always out ranks blogs without it. And with a little work, your rankings will keep moving in the right direction.

    I don’t just use thesis for blogs either, any website can benefit from it’s SEO power.

    Thanks for sharing all of these great and not so great tools.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Great suggestion, Ian – I do love Thesis (especially when you do the dirty work for me – lol).

      I actually added your comment to the post.

      • I love working with thesis. For a designer, it is absolutely the best WP Theme out there. It’s so simple to customize.

        Also, I love doing the dirty work for you ;)

  26. Ahhh…Pippity is what you were referring to.

    Sounds like you had some sort of formatting issue. I bet we could fix that.

    Mark

  27. Ana,

    The only product I use in there is Market Samurai. And I love it. I don’t use it as extensively as you do but it helps be to actually learn SEO. Funny eh? Like, I know what I need to do to beat out blogs with higher rankings than mine.

    Anyhow, I am also leaning towards buying CommentLuv Premium but still up in the air to how it will benefit me and my readers. I think I have read your posts about it at least 3 times maybe one more time it will click. LOL. If I make the jump I will come to you , Ana.

    ~Allie

  28. good list Ana.

    never heard of the not so good ones, and thank God. I personally use a few of the “good” ones. personal experience is often the best way to determine whether something works for us, however compilations such as these certainly help shed light on those that should be considered first on the prioritization list. needless to say that everyone will pick those that are most relevant to what they do.

    as someone mainly interested in niche websites for example, tools like market samurai are great for day to day use – I second those thoughts

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are right, Sunil – reading these recommendations is one thing, but figuring out whether they’ll work for YOU and YOUR site is a completely different animal.

      Thanks for coming by!

  29. Good stuff Ana, useful recommendations.

    I would say Build My Rank rocks and is the easiest way to rank a website for newbies.

    Senuke – 100% recommend it. Most people just don’t know how to use it, someone said it got them sandboxed? That’s sort of rubbish, never happened to me in the years I’ve been HEAVILY using it.

    Interesting what you said about SYNND. I was just about to signup! I need an automated social media solution to G+1, like and tweet my content.

    The problem I thought of was that with 500 credits/day (the 100/month membership) you’re only going to get several G+1′s or 50 bookmarks/day and so on. Not sure if it’s worth the price, do you have any recommendation for me Ana?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve never personally used SEnuke on this blog, Jamie, and this is one time when I prefer to be on the caution side.

      I did check out Synnd and found the same thing that Gerald did, so I’d say keep the money.

      I also tried SocialAddr (forgot to mention it in the post) – don’t recommend it either.

  30. Thanks for including me in the post and the mention.

    It’s always helpful to hear straight up opinions for people who are in the trenches and aren’t just motivated by trying to make an affiliate commission.

    I’m actually currently testing out build my rank, so I’m glad to see it’s on the thumbs up list! I’ve also heard good things about it. :-)

  31. Hey Ana,

    I’ll co-sign your thoughts on SENUKE. I used it on a money site a year or two ago and got sandboxed quick! Any automation software I use will hit my tier 2-3 links. Much safer.

    Build my rank is awesome! Before using it I really didn’t understand the power of it because it only submits to one blog on their network instead of like some other services where they submit to their article directory farms.

    I learned having my one article with links on a PR 5-7 blog will give me so much link juice compared to the article directory farm that offer no link juice value. Definitely a great tool!

    Have you ever used Linkvana?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good to get some backup, Samuel!

      No, I haven’t personally tried Linkvana yet, although heard about it.

      Let’s see if any of the other commentators chime in with their experience with the network.

  32. If I’da known you where guna post my “review” I would have put a little more thought into it lol ;) Seriously tho, thanks for the link, that came as a pleasant surprise!

    Tweetadder and Commentluv Premium I’m sure your readers all know about. I use these every day.

    Micro Niche Finder is kinda like Market Samurai, but I found it to be more user friendly.

    Article Marketing Robot is just an article submitter. When used intelligently it is very effective. I’ve had no problem hitting page one on google for a number of popular search terms.

    Thanks again Ana, you rock!

  33. Scott

    Ana,

    Thank you so much for the mention on your blog! I am truly grateful.

    Market Samurai really is a great product to use on an existing site and if you are wanting to do research for a new site. I can’t say enough about it.

    One of the best parts too is that if Google makes a change in the way they do things, their support staff are right on top of it making the necessary coding changes. I have used their support personally and they are very responsive.

    I also say to anyone new to the Traffic Generation Cafe…. Ana provides us with so many useful and relevant tips and tricks for getting traffic to our sites. Not only are the great resources, but she makes it so easy to follow. That is a rare thing in today’s world. I know that with her help, I have been able to get my site from a PR0 to a PR3 site in about 6 months and my traffic has almost tripled!

    Thanks Ana!

    Scott

    • Ana Hoffman

      Scott:

      It’s me who is truly grateful.

      It is readers like YOU who make me want to “show up for work” every day.

      THANK YOU.

      • Scott

        Thanks so much!!!

        BTW….I did what you reccomended regarding trackbacks in my CommentLuv Premium. Thanks!

        CommentLuv is SO great!

        Hope you are having a great week!
        Scott

  34. Hi Ana — thanks for adding my recommendation for IBM Academy to your post.

    And…thanks for being so thoughtful as to send me a tweet to let me know.

    You are a shining light of personal and thoughtful engagement with your audience.

    Here are a few more tools and tips that I recommend:
    - Theme Test Drive plugin allows you to try a different theme in WP while your old theme stays live.
    - LiveFyre for your comments
    - Use the 2x button to listen to podcasts twice as fast (double the learning!)
    - Create video tutorials and put them on the 2nd largest search engine on the web – youtube. (which, by the way is so much easier to dominate for your keywords as it’s way less crowded than google).

    Anyways…hope some of that helps. Thanks again!

    Ryan

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the great recommendation, Ryan, and the additions in your comment.

      I really enjoyed IBM blog; valuable info.

  35. Thanks for the review of sites that are working for you and the ones to stay away from Ana! I am so excited! My main blog is now under 1 million on Alexa traffic stats and I am holding my PR4. I have much work to do on my other niche focused blogs to get more traffic to them and build the PR also.

    Your family will enjoy California! It is not as hot in the summer as Arizona.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Our business journey never ends, Danielle, and that’s what is so exciting about it!

      And thank you: excited and a bit anxious about the move.lol